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Logic Pro 9 Essential Training
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Optimizing performance with freeze tracks


From:

Logic Pro 9 Essential Training

with Scott Hirsch

Video: Optimizing performance with freeze tracks

Depending on the processing speed and power of your Mac, when you load up a project with too many plug-ins or software instruments, you may run out of CPU power. Let's learn how to manage this when your project is at its most processing intensive state, the mix. You can view, at any time, how much processing power your project is eating up, by choosing Options > Audio > System Performance. Then you get a pop-up window that shows you two things: the Audio, this is the CPU power and a Disk I/O, this is how much information is being pulled off your hard drive. When we are looking at CPU power, we are mostly concerned with the meters in the audio part.
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  1. 1m 55s
    1. Welcome
      50s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 5s
  2. 17m 39s
    1. Installing the software
      3m 19s
    2. Launching Logic for the first time, using the templates
      5m 15s
    3. Understanding audio interfaces
      3m 35s
    4. Understanding MIDI interfaces
      5m 30s
  3. 32m 15s
    1. Getting to know the Arrange window
      5m 15s
    2. Using the many windows of Logic
      4m 13s
    3. Creating your own screensets
      2m 23s
    4. Using the Transport window and controlling playback
      4m 54s
    5. Using the Toolbox
      2m 37s
    6. Naming tracks and regions
      3m 27s
    7. Learning useful and custom key commands
      5m 18s
    8. Saving and going mobile with your project
      4m 8s
  4. 41m 41s
    1. Setting up for recording
      5m 43s
    2. Understanding Metronome settings or the click track
      4m 7s
    3. Understanding tempo
      4m 37s
    4. Recording live instruments and vocals using multitrack recording
      3m 56s
    5. Playing with guitar madness: Amp design
      5m 13s
    6. Playing with guitar madness: Pedal board
      4m 5s
    7. Working with takes recording and comping
      4m 51s
    8. Punching in to replace bad audio
      4m 51s
    9. Using Varispeed to create an old tape machine sound
      4m 18s
  5. 1h 8m
    1. Understanding MIDI
      4m 41s
    2. Using the Logic synth instruments
      7m 4s
    3. Working with the emulator instruments
      5m 23s
    4. Using the EXS24 sampler
      3m 7s
    5. Building tracks with Ultrabeat
      5m 31s
    6. Using channel strips to select a virtual sound
      5m 29s
    7. Understanding the basics of MIDI recording
      4m 38s
    8. Learning how to use MIDI with Cycle Record
      4m 9s
    9. Using Logic's step input
      4m 3s
    10. Mastering quantization
      6m 18s
    11. Working in the Piano Scroll window
      5m 33s
    12. Editing controller messages with Hyper View
      4m 8s
    13. Working with the Hyper Editor
      5m 29s
    14. Working with the Events List
      3m 20s
  6. 29m 49s
    1. Importing prerecorded audio into Logic
      4m 5s
    2. Exploring Apple Loops
      4m 40s
    3. Creating your own Apple Loop
      4m 21s
    4. Conforming tempo, region to session, or session to region
      3m 51s
    5. Using the new Flex Time feature
      5m 17s
    6. Beat mapping your project
      4m 41s
    7. Importing elements from project to project
      2m 54s
  7. 24m 15s
    1. Understanding the basic editing techniques in the Arrange window
      7m 5s
    2. Tips for editing and arranging
      3m 21s
    3. Editing and merging regions in the Arrange window
      3m 45s
    4. Mastering fades for audio region arranging
      4m 58s
    5. Fixing and morphing sound with the Sample Editor
      5m 6s
  8. 11m 12s
    1. Working with notes and composing in the Score Editor
      4m 26s
    2. Editing notes, keys, and time signatures
      3m 35s
    3. Creating scores and lead sheets for musicians
      3m 11s
  9. 9m 8s
    1. Setting up for a sync video project
      4m 50s
    2. Scoring music to video
      4m 18s
  10. 56m 32s
    1. Mixing philosophies and five tools for mixing
      3m 37s
    2. Setting up for a mix
      5m 11s
    3. Directing audio traffic with fader levels
      5m 7s
    4. Exploring Logic's panning features
      4m 37s
    5. Exploring inserts: Using EQ as a mix tool
      6m 51s
    6. Exploring inserts: Using compression as a mix tool
      5m 38s
    7. Using advanced signal flow with aux and send tracks
      3m 12s
    8. Using advanced signal flow with time-based FX to create space in your mix
      3m 44s
    9. Using automation to create dynamic mixes
      6m 22s
    10. Giving your mix life with automation
      2m 45s
    11. Optimizing performance with freeze tracks
      4m 42s
    12. Using channel strips for audio processing
      4m 46s
  11. 16m 7s
    1. Understanding surround hardware requirements
      4m 5s
    2. Building surround mixing workflows
      6m 17s
    3. Using the surround panner
      5m 45s
  12. 15m 48s
    1. Bouncing down your song
      5m 31s
    2. Understanding why alt mixes are a good idea
      2m 22s
    3. Exploring Logic's export options
      3m 37s
    4. Mastering your own Logic project
      4m 18s
  13. 37s
    1. Goodbye
      37s

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Logic Pro 9 Essential Training
5h 25m Beginner Mar 09, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Logic Pro 9 Essential Training, Scott Hirsch explains how to harness the power and flexibility of Logic Pro, Apple’s popular songwriting software, to record, edit, and mix music. The course includes instruction on how to compose in Logic Pro, and spend more time being creative and less time dealing with technical uncertainties. Scott focuses on setting up a workspace, recording with both live performers and digital instruments, editing and arranging, and mixing and mastering a composition. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Navigating the Logic Pro interface
  • Setting up for recording
  • Enabling multiple inputs for a live performance
  • Exploring Logic's arsenal of virtual instruments
  • Working with powerful MIDI editors and sequencers
  • Beatmapping, varispeed, and tempo adjustment in the timeline
  • Creating and re-using Apple loops
  • Editing music: Moving and snapping regions, cutting and looping
  • Transcribing a score and creating lead sheets in the Score Editor
  • Syncing with video
  • Mixing audio and creating dynamic mixes
  • Understanding surround sound requirements
  • Exporting a song from Logic Pro
Subjects:
Audio + Music DAWs
Software:
Logic Pro
Author:
Scott Hirsch

Optimizing performance with freeze tracks

Depending on the processing speed and power of your Mac, when you load up a project with too many plug-ins or software instruments, you may run out of CPU power. Let's learn how to manage this when your project is at its most processing intensive state, the mix. You can view, at any time, how much processing power your project is eating up, by choosing Options > Audio > System Performance. Then you get a pop-up window that shows you two things: the Audio, this is the CPU power and a Disk I/O, this is how much information is being pulled off your hard drive. When we are looking at CPU power, we are mostly concerned with the meters in the audio part.

Let's hit play and see where it lands on the meters. (Music playing.) As you saw, we had a quick jump in Disk I/O, once I hit play, but then everything balanced out. We were barely hitting the audio meters in this case. This is a pretty powerful computer. So, all these plug-ins weren't taxing our system too much. If the info were to read at the top of the meters, don't worry, your computer won't blow up. The playback will stop and you'll receive a message that CPU usage is too high.

Some plug-ins increase CPU usage more than others, notably space designer and sculpture. Here's some tips to help you if your computer is not keeping up. Now that we are in the mixing stage of our project, we can increase our CPU power by going to the Global Preferences, Logic Pro > Preferences > Audio. Here we can increase our I/O Buffer Size. Right now, it's pretty low at 128 Samples. To give ourselves more CPU power, we can turn it all the way up to 1024. As you can see, that increased the Resulting Roundtrip Latency up to 48.7 ms.

If we were recording, that will be too high. We would hear a delay. But now that we are mixing, we can put it high without any problems. So, let's apply changes and close this window. Another word about latency, remember latency is the dirty word of digital audio. It refers to the time delay of your audio that computer processing causes. Some plug-ins, especially the ones that require more processing power, induce different latencies in your tracks. This can cause phase issues and a general time smearing of your mix. In other words, all instruments are not outputting exactly on time if you have different plug-ins on their tracks.

Luckily, Logic has a way to deal with this called latency compensation. To see that, let's go back into the preferences. Under Logic Pro > Preferences > Audio, this time we'll go to the General tab. Here we have an area called Plug-in Latency. Notice there's a pulldown window next to compensation. Currently, it's set to All. This means that Logic was already compensating for the latency on our plug-ins. This is good to leave on when you're mixing, but I would turn it off when recording. Since we are in the mixing stage of our project, we can leave it on. Another way you can conserve system usage in the mix is by using a cool technique Logic offers called Track Freezing.

Let's go back to the Arrange window to see this one. Track Freezing works by writing a temporary audio file version of a track into Logic's memory. When playback occurs Logic, simply reads the file instead of doing the complex realtime processing. This conserves a lot of processing power. The only trade off for us is that we get locked out of the tracks parameters. Let's demonstrate this on the N_Beat 1 track. Notice, in channel strip, this track has a lot of plug-ins in it. but if we don't think we need to change the parameters of those plug-ins, during the course of our mix, we can freeze this track and save system resources.

To enable Track Freezing, go up to the View menu, choose Configure Track Header and check the Freeze button, and then hit Done. You'll notice a little snowflake button appeared in all of our track headers. This is our Freeze button. So, when we are ready to freeze this, or any track, click on the button and then hit play. Logic will play through the whole song and freeze the necessary tracks. This takes a second, but it conserves a lot or processing power, so it's worth it. So, now, this track is frozen.

If we try to open one of the plug-ins in the track, you see we get a snowflake icon. We are actually locked out of the tracks plug-ins. If we do need to make changes, all we need to do is unfreeze the track by clicking on the Freeze button, then we can go back in and make a change. Say I need to move this compressor threshold a little bit. Now that we have changed a plug-in parameter and we want to re-freeze the track, we have to click the Freeze button again and hit play and let Logic go through the process again. Keep in mind you can freeze more than one track at a time. If you do that, Logic will still only have to play through once to freeze all those tracks.

For bigger mixes, conserving processing power might be an essential of making it work for your computer. Processing power is your only limitation when it comes to working in Logic. So, now, you have some handy tips to effectively remove that limitation in the mixes.

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